Eric Edelman, a former official in the George W. Bush administration, shredded President Donald Trump on Tuesday for taking a wrecking ball to American diplomacy.
In an interview with the New York Times, Edelman said that Trump takes a purely transactional approach to foreign policy that serves his own personal interests instead of the interests of the United States.
“Trump is replacing formal relations among nations in several cases with family-to-family relationship, or crony-to-crony relationships,” said Edelman, who served as the American ambassador to Turkey during the Bush administration. “Certainly, [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan would prefer that kind of relationship as he runs a crony capitalist regime of his own, but it ought to be a matter of concern to all Americans.”
The Times report goes on to document how this has played out in the president’s diplomacy, as Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has been in frequent contact with Erdogan son-in-law Berat Albayrak in a form of “backdoor diplomacy” aimed at fostering cooperation between the two countries.
The concern, however, is that no one knows whether Trump’s unconventional diplomacy with Turkey overlaps with his personal financial interests.
Specifically, the Times reports that “Trump’s ties to Turkey… go back more than a decade” and include the opening of the Trump Towers Istanbul skyscrapers back in 2012.